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Ad Lesbiam, Cat. Ep. 73
by Richard Lovelace

AD LESBIAM, CAT. EP. 73.

Dicebas quondam, solum to nosse Catullum,
Lesbia, nec prae me velle tenere Jovem;
Dilexi tum te, non tantum ut vulgus amicam,
Sed pater ut gnatos diligit et generos.
Nunc te cognovi, quare et impensius uror,
Multo mi tamen es vilior et levior.
Qui potis est inquis, quod amantem injuria talis
Cogat amare magis, sed bene velle minus?
Odi et amo; quare id faciam, fortasse requiris;
Nescio; sed fieri sentio, et excrucior.

ENGLISHED.

That me alone you lov'd, you once did say,
Nor should I to the king of gods give way.
Then I lov'd thee not as a common dear,
But as a father doth his children chear.
Now thee I know, more bitterly I smart;
Yet thou to me more light and cheaper art.
What pow'r is this? that such a wrong should press
Me to love more, yet wish thee well much lesse.
I hate and love; would'st thou the reason know?
I know not; but I burn, and feel it so.